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February 27, 2008
For immediate release

Federal Budget Offers Little for Lower Income Families and Seniors of Prince Edward Island

Social Services and Seniors

Prince Edward Island Social Services and Seniors Minister Doug Currie expressed disappointment with yesterday’s federal budget which he says offers little to Prince Edward Island in terms of funding to support affordable housing, catastrophic drug programs and poverty reduction.

“Despite our best efforts to highlight the challenges that our families and seniors are facing with increasing drug and fuel costs at federal, provincial and territorial forums,” said Minister Currie, “the federal government continues to direct funding and tax incentives to individuals and institutions rather than provinces who need federal support and cooperation to deliver and expand much-needed social programs.”

The Minister did point out several positive budget initiatives that will assist lower income Islanders including investments in public transit, the adjustment to the earned exemption in the Guaranteed Income Supplement and funding for projects to help individuals facing mental health and homelessness challenges.

“In general Islanders, like all Canadians, will benefit from the tax-free savings accounts,” said Currie. “This incentive, however, is of little benefit to Island individuals and families who struggle to pay for basic living costs each month. The opportunity to save is unrealistic for many.”

Minister Currie said that affordable housing, catastrophic drug programs and poverty reduction are priorities for Islanders that require federal help in order for Prince Edward Island to move forward.

“Despite my disappointment, I will continue to work to foster federal-provincial partnerships and relationships for the benefit of all Islanders,” said Currie.

Media Contact: Verna Lynne Weeks
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